On the 8 January the University of Glasgow will hold a celebration of Scottish parasitologists and their legacy on today’s public health research. Many of the diseases that are endemic to low- and middle-income countries in the tropics are caused by parasites. An extraordinary number of these parasites were first discovered by Scottish scientists and doctors, many of whom were graduates of the University of Glasgow. This symposium, organised by the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, will consider the contributions and impacts of three of these scientists: Robert Leiper; William Leishman and Muriel Robertson.
Our Director, Russell Stothard, will attend and speak about Leiper’s lasting contribution to schistosomiasis. Russell will explain how 100 years ago Leiper discovered the lifecycle of African schistosomes that infect humans. He will set this discovery against the background of his work in Egypt just prior to World War One when schistosomiasis was then a major military concern. Leiper devised simple measures for prevention and control of water-borne parasitic diseases. Today, for example, the near-eradication of Guinea worm is built on Leiper’s 1907 Ghanaian work. However, schistosomiasis still continues to be a significant challenge globally.
You can find out more about the meeting and register on their website.
Photo credit: Nathan Kaemena Photography